Compare 2 press reports. Essentialism when people act as if things have an essence - that makes those things what they are. The essence that ‘is given to them’ constrains or generates properties.
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(e.g. belief that someone is bad in essence, put in
category ‘bad’, induce they will behave badly even if
bear no resemblance to other ‘bad’ people)
Task: find a rule that could be used to classify the drawings and new examples.
3 groups of participants (conceptual properties):
Group 1 told one set drawn by city children & the other set by farm children.
Group 2 done by creative & non-creative children
Group 3 done by emotionally disturbed &
emotionally normal children
rule given: “more profiles, more elaborate, clothes in more
Detail showing pockets & buttons, hair drawn. Less
emphasis on proportion”
rule given: “ draw what they see from normal life,
have overalls on & show body muscle from labour.
Drawings show more detail, one shows facial detail, another
coloured the clothes and another showed the body below
Rules consisted of a general assertion coupled with an
operational definition or exemplars across levels of
abstraction to illustrate the assertion.
been due to the lack of low-level perceptual features to
distinguish the 2 sets of drawings.
Drawings were presented one by one and people were
asked to give the rule after each exemplar.
If there was no low-level perceptual distinctions,
simple rules would not be possible and there would be a
systematic increase in multi-level descriptions.
However a multi-level description was given for the
first exemplar drawing.
Multiple-level descriptions result from a strategy of
trying to FIT ‘ideas’ to the ‘details of the actual
properties. Included high level inclusive category descriptions
and lower level discriminating descriptions.
When features are ambiguous - labelling effects the description
e.g. same drawing, different label:
Mentally healthy ‘all faces are smiling’
Non-creative‘ faces show little variation in expression’!